Lament for a Notion: The Life and Death of Canada's Bilingual Dream

Book Lament for a Notion: The Life and Death of Canada's Bilingual Dream

Book details

- By: Scott Reid(Author)
- Language: English
- Format: PDF - Djvu
- Pages:327
- Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press (1993)
- Bestsellers rank: 3
- Category: Politics & Social Sciences
*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
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Book by Reid, Scott

Book by Reid, Scott

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  • By Andrew Baldwin on October 1, 2016

    The aloof and uncommunicative Conservative MP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston has written a stimulating analysis of official bilingualism. Reid looks far beyond Canada in his discussion of languages, to discuss language survival and assimilation in countries all over the world. He argues that the role of governments in promoting or demoting languages is over-rated. Breton, he argues, did not go into steep decline so much because of the French government trying to assimilate Bretons as it was by the Industrial Revolution drawing the previously isolated Breton population into much closer contact with French-speakers.Mr. Reid argues in his book that official bilingualism has gone too far in Canada, and there should be more of a switch to territorial bilingualism, with bilingual services being offered only where the numbers of minority speakers warrant. Written years before his political career started, Reid was forced to resign as official languages critic for the Conservative Party during the 2004 campaign, when expressing similar views provoked a storm of protest.Among his most controversial recommendations must be the one to do away compulsory bilingual labelling of products. I really wonder if the costs of bilingual labelling are nearly as high as he believes, since many products manufactured in the United States or other countries would presumably need to have different labels in any case, due to regulatory differences.After almost a quarter of a century has passed, this book is more than a little dated. The big expansion in French immersion programs took place since it was published and it would be good to have Reid’s views on this phenomenon. I heard from one of his staffers that he had plans to produce a revised version of the book. He should be encouraged to do so. He never responds to his e-mails, so he should have lots of time to produce such an update.

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